Best Answer #49: As no suitable answer was received here is our "best answer":
The House of Refuge closed in 1969. Those living there were moved to its modern replacement, Woodingford Lodge which officially opened on Oct. 25 of that year.

Extra Information From Quiz Committee:
When Woodstock was but a town, the Oxford Jail offered a better-than-no-place for Oxford County residents to stay who were too disadvantaged in one way or another to own or to rent their own shelter. Concerned that jail was not the best place for the needy, several Anglican ministers (including Rev. Mr. Farthing of New St. Paul's Anglican Church) presented a petition from about 450 local citizens to Oxford Council in June, 1889, for a House of Refuge that would care for such people.

Council agreed and hired Messrs. Cuthbertson and Fowler as architects with instructions to design a Home for about 100 inmates costing $15,000 or less, exclusive of furnishings. The Council bought a 100 acre farm just west of Woodstock for the site, and a Mr. Thomas McClay built it. The final cost of the farm, new construction, all furnishings, new farm equipment, drainage, fencing and so on, was over $28,000.

James Leek was the first person admitted, on March 10, 1893. By year's end, there were 15 male and 7 female residents at the House of Refuge and each cost $6.05 per week to keep. It is interesting to note that costs were managed very well. On Dec. 31, 1966, the 22 males and 8 females then in residence still only cost $5.11 per week. While the number of residents varied constantly, the highest number was 125 in 1916; the lowest was 27, in 1965.

A thoughtful touch was the fencing off in 1895 of a quarter acre for a cemetery, at the centre of the western edge of the property. The youngest person buried there was a still-born baby; the oldest was a lady reported to be around 103 when she died. Over 60 years, about 200 residents were buried there.

At the start, a married man and woman were hired to act as a live-in Manager (later 'Superintendent') and Matron respectively. The Manager's job was to 'examine all persons received, suitably locate as to age, sex and character; treat with ... kindness all children, ... sick and infirm'. He also had to check that all lights were out at 9 p.m. in summer, 8:30 p.m. in winter; 'to see that all provisions is good and properly cooked and that no waste is permitted;. . . to inflict suitable punishment for disobedience ... not more than 24 hours confinement to be inflicted ...'.

Matron was to assign suitable work to all inmates; to see that the inmates clothes and bedding was kept repaired; 'and to prohibit all waste'.

All able-bodied inmates had to get up at 6 a.m. from April to September; at 8 a.m. at other times; present themselves at their assigned places at table for all meals; hands and face were to be clean and hair combed. No drunkenness, disobedience, immorality, profane language, theft, waste, etc. were allowed. The Sabbath Day was to be strictly observed.

The Manager and Matron managed servants and other local staff, and reported to a Management Committee who met monthly. At one of their meetings, in 1894, 'the Committee considered the matter of entertainment at the House of refuge and instructed the Manager to dispense with such as it was a County expense'.

Bearing in mind the alternative, the average citizen was certainly encouraged to have his or her own place.

- Woodstock Museum, 'County of Oxford Historical Item # 5'
- Doug M. Symons, 'The Village That Straddled A Swamp'